The first national park in Hesse was founded as the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park just south of the Edersee in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg.
The first gate to the National Park is erected
The idea for these gates was the brainchild of the “Verein für die Region” (Association for the Region). The purpose of the gates is to guide visitors from neighboring communities to the respective main entrances of the National Park. The wooden gates are manufactured by the National Park’s own workshop.
Evidence for wild cats is found
In 2007, the presence of wild cats in the National Park was proven for the first time in more than 50 years. Since then, a continuous spreading and development of the wild cat population in the National Park has been observed.
Opening of the Visitor Center of the Kellerwald National Park
With its unusual architecture, the visitor center of the Kellerwald National Park presents an interactive exhibition about the National Park that includes a 4D movie theater experience. Since then, additional interactive components have been integrated into the exhibition.
The first 11 partner companies of the National Park
These businesses represent the close connection between nature conservation and the tourist industry and a sustainable development of the region. They are hosts, use domestic products, know their way around the National Park and provide any type of assistance.
Since March 10th the Hessian Kellerwald-Edersee National Park is the first of its kind in Germany to receive this prestigious designation by the World Conservation Union IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Opening of the ‘BuchenHaus’
The opening of this facility on April 8th adds another attraction to the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park. The informative facility, which is closely linked to the Edersee 'WildtierPark’ (Wildlife Park), offers visitors impressive insights into the ecosystem of the beech forests in Central Europe.
UNESCO World Natural Heritage
Together with four other German beech forest regions, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has recognized core areas of the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park as part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage in Paris on June 25th. The official designation reads “Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Ancient Beech Forests of Germany”.
Wheelchair Path to the Quernstkirche (Quernst Chapel)
Within the course of optimizing accessibility in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, this pathway was constructed as a direct wheelchair path to the Quernstkirche. With a length of approx. 60 meters, it allows wheelchair users direct access to the church.
Accessible Viewing Platform
This newly erected viewing platform at the Hagenstein allows wheelchair users and families with strollers to enjoy the unique panorama into the lower valley of the Eder River.
10-Year Anniversary of the National Park
It was a grand celebration! The festivities for the 10-year anniversary of the National Park were held at the Edersee 'WildtierPark’ (Wildlife Park), at the Eschelberg with the ‘Baumkronenweg Edersee’ (Tree Top Walk) and at the Forestry Office Vöhl on May 25th. They included many hands-on activities for adults and children that included lots of information about the National Park and the history of its development.
Construction of a Viewing Stand
Besides an accessible viewing stand in the ‘Rosengrund’, the year 2015 also saw the erection of a viewing stand for approx. 20 persons near the Quernstkirche (Quernst Chapel). It serves for the observation of deer and will be used for guided ranger tours during the deer rutting season.
Since January 1st, 2016, the National Park Office, being a special authority of the state, is directly subordinate to the Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The National Park Office is located in Bad Wildungen.
Extension World Heritage Site
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided on July 10, 2017 in Krakow, to expand the former site of the "Beech primeval forests of the Carpathians and old beech forests of Germany" by 63 subareas in 10 countries and rename it "Old Beech forests and beech primeval forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe".
The National Park is great! There are so many different and diverse opportunities to experience the evolving wilderness of the National Park, including events, guided tours, exhibitions and lectures. There is something for everyone!
Jutta Seuring (head of the Subject Area National Park Office: Communication, Education and Experiencing Nature).
That’s how it looks...
Impressions from the National Park
I was very happy when the Kellerwald-Edersee region was named as the first National Park in Hesse. I love nature and my homeland.
Facts & Figures
About facts and all that counts…
No. 1in Hesse
50mountains and hills
1,100hectares of beech trees older than 160 years
2011Designated a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site
5Discovery houses and information pavilions
I love my workplace in the midst of nature! When I lead visitor tours through the National Park and explain the forest and nature, I look into happy faces! And that makes me happy!
At its meeting on June 25th, 2011, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee added five beech forest ranges in Germany to the list of cultural and natural heritage, including parts of the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in the Waldecker Land.
These beech forest ranges represent the most valuable remnants of extensive pristine beech forest stands in Germany and are now on the same level with such world-renowned places as the Yellowstone National Park, the Galapagos Islands or the Mud Flats.
The official name of the World Natural Heritage site is ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany’.
The National Park is practically my home. Whether I participate in a guided tour, hike alone or with friends – I always discover something new! And the 24-hour marathon along the Edersee is a particularly exciting challenge every year...
Thorsten Hoyer (Extreme Hiker)
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